Here are my complete stats:
- Total time: 2:27:07
- Swim time: 27:48 (.62 miles)
- Transition #1: 4:41
- Bike: 1:11:58 (17.5 miles)
- Transition #2: 2:49
- Run: 39:52 (3.4 miles)
The morning started off early. I think my alarm went off at 4:00 AM. I was at my friend's house by 4:45 to carpool over to Columbia. We arrived at about 5:30 AM. I started setting up my transition area (I had stuffed most of it into a bucket), got some air in my bike tires, and left the transition area by 6:45 when the first wave of Elite racers headed out for their swim wave (I think the first Elite was done with the swim in 9 minutes. Yikes!). We walked over to the swim start barefoot (lesson for next year: bring a pair of throw-away flip-flops!). My swim wave was next to last and did not start until 8:17 AM. At about 7:45, I realized I needed to visit the port-a-potty. Barefoot. Hence the throw-away flip flops for next year!
My swim wave went off at 8:17...to the strange noise of the AFLAC duck. A funny and endearing touch, but still odd. We treaded water in the lake for about 5 minutes before the start, so I recalled a lot of my old life-saving classes. I started at the back of the pack. During the swim, I got kicked and knocked around, so it took awhile to get into my swimming rhythm. I should have started at the front because I was a stronger swimmer than half of the swimmers in my age-group. One girl kept backstroking diagonally in front of me. I couldn't get away from her! Every time I would breaststroke to get away from her and get into a freestyle rhythm, she would come back across and run into me! I also thought the swim went further down the lake than it did...and suddenly I looked up and we were already at the finish chute! I had been conserving energy with my stroke, so I increased my turnover and hauled myself in.
The first transition was ok- I took some time to rinse my feet off, put on socks, throw on a gel-pack and grabbed my bike. I jogged in and out of the transition area...it was during those points that I actually felt like a triathlete! Once I got on the bike, my legs were pretty much ready to go. The swim really didn't tire me out at all. As soon as I got on the bike I passed about 5 people, especially on the downhills. My new bike made a big difference, I think. The course was VERY hilly, with some hills that seemed as if they would never end! My one complaint was the traffic on the road- since it wasn't closed to cars, there were a few spots near the park where I had to slow down to avoid hitting a car. My ride in Acadia Nat'l Park really made a difference. I think the ride would have demoralized me too much had I not already experienced some tough hills.
After I got off my bike and through the transition to the run, my legs felt ok. I ran for about 5 minutes until my lungs gave out. I took a hit of my inhaler during Transition #2, but it didn't kick in until halfway through the run (lesson for next year: hit inhaler with 15 min to go in the bike). I walked for 5 minutes to catch my breath. My pattern for the rest of the run was a modified run/walk...basically I walked up hills, sprinted down them, and jogged the flat areas. It worked...I averaged a decent pace for me- about 11:30 minute miles. I imagine I could have run faster if it was cooler and less hilly...oh, and if I hadn't just swam .62 miles and biked 17.5! I did have enough to push it the last half mile or so, especially when I realized that I was going to finish under 2:30!
I felt great at the finish line! They gave out medals, and I found my friends to rehash the race. We all had somewhat similar experiences, and all of us loved doing the triathlon. A few friends had a cookout later in the afternoon to celebrate. All in all, I would highly recommend this triathlon, and plan on doing it again next year! My ultimate goal for next year: 2:20...by shaving 2 minutes off the swim, 1 minute off each transition, 2 minutes off the bike, and 1-2 minutes off of the run. I'll keep you posted...